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Deadlifts and Squats as Rehab for herniated discs?

backiswackbbackiswack Posts: 2
edited 12/22/2015 - 10:17 PM in Lower Back Pain
I am 29 years old - lifelong athlete (played ice hockey from 3 yrs old till back pain started last month) in pretty good shape - recently herniated L4/L5 doing box jumps during a crossfit workout.

I had previously herniated L5/S1 at 21 years old, and after 6 months of chiropractic (or maybe chiropractic was coincidence and just healed itself), pain was gone and didn't return for 8 years until this new injury.

This time around, I went through the regular routes - ortho (recommends surgery/ injection); physical therapy (puts me on an exercise bike for 10 mins, do a few stretches, electro-therapy and 1 minute massage); chiropractor (cold laser, hammer thing, traditional adjustment, herbal pills, acupuncture).

Also cut carbs, sugars, alcohol from my diet (definite change in overall health for the positive, but not sure if it's helping the back).

None of this was really doing much, and all of it was depleting the bank account. There are a few amazing looking aggressive physical therapy gyms in my area, but none of them are even in the remote realm of affordability.

Then I came across a website that offered suggestions and tips.

Has anyone gone this route? I started doing some of the recommended exercises 1 week ago (3X per week). I do a workout of 4 consecutive sets of 1 minute each of light kettlebell deadlifts (35 lbs with perfect form), body squats, pull-ups, and planks, followed by stretches - cobra, cat camel, backward hyperextension over a big ball). I swim 1500 meters before starting my routine.

This combination has provided me more relief than any of the other "traditional" methods. I've gone from 4 ibuprofen every 4 hours to 4 a day (2 in morning and 2 before bed). No longer need to sleep on the floor (and most nights I don't wake up from pain), and I can sit in a chair and drive my car without excruciating sciatic and lower back pain.

My question:

Who else has done deadlifts, squats, etc. as therapy? Has it worked? When can I up my weight and start getting a real workout again? Are there any olympic weightlifters on this board that gave gone this route?

I wish I could find a doc or physical therapist that follows this type of method, but its nearly impossible to wade through all the crappy docs/PTs that work on 10 patients at a time and quack chiros that contradict each other and themselves.

If anyone has an aggressive physical therapist in the NYC area that accepts GHI please share.

Please share your workout routines here... I want to continue to self-treat as aggressively as safely possible.




  • szylszyl Posts: 31
    edited 12/23/2015 - 7:47 AM
    I've been suffering for 6 months. Getting advice in this area is dicey at best mainly because everyone condition and injury is slightly different.
    IMHO You are doing some things right:
    1) swimming
    2) cobra stretch
    3) pull-ups
    4) planks

    HOWEVER....Lifting with weights has got to be the worst idea.....as it compresses the spinal column....exactly the OPPOSITE of what you need.
    You need to STRETCH it out. The pull-ups help in that regard. Better idea: inversion bar.,
    This completely takes the pressure off the L4-L5 joint and opens up that spinal area as well to reduce nerve pinching.

    Another good one: Lat pull downs. Oh, the relief I get from that one is amazing. You pull down with at least as much weight as your body weight and then just "hold the position" with your thighs under the catch-pads in front on you.


    Before you try any supplement, herb, over the counter item, exercise program, mechanical aid, brace, etc always consult with your doctor to make sure you get their approval.
    Some of these products may be very effective, but no two individuals or medical conditions are alike. What works for one, may cause trouble for another..

    Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
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